Defense Ministry opposes wind turbines in north

The Defense Ministry's objection is a major blow to the plan to generate wind energy on the Golan Heights.

Sources inform ''Globes'' that the defense establishment is strongly opposed to plans to erect wind turbines for generating electricity on the Golan Heights.

Minister of National Infrastructures Benjamin Ben Eliezer was recently told unofficially by the defense establishment and the IDF that they are opposed to the wind turbines. Ben Eliezer has instructed the director of electricity in his ministry to ask for detailed reasons for the opposition.

The Golan Heights is considered one of the most economically attractive regions in Israel for generating electricity from wind energy.

The energy sector fears that a number of major wind energy projects that had been planned for the coming years on the Golan Heights will now not been implemented.

Sources close to the issue say that the Ministry of Defense's opinion was formulated after consultations with the air force and the IDF's planning division, and were only recently passed onto authorized bodies such as the Ministry of National Infrastructures. Those sources say that the opposition of the defense establishment is related, among other things, to the IDF's deployment during a time of emergency.

The largest wind energy project planned for the Golan Height is by Mei Golan Wind Energy Development (1988) Ltd., which has been negotiating with US firm AES Corporation (NYSE:AES), to set up 20 wind turbines in the northern Golan Heights that would generate 350-400 megawatts.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on January 13, 2009

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2009

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